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What causes shoulder pain?
Trauma, strain or overuse of the shoulder, and disuse or atrophy. As we age, our muscles are less able to provide accurate and strong stability for the shoulder joint itself. And so, it's kind of a natural course that we see more and more shoulder injuries as we age.
How can I alleviate shoulder pain?
There are some exercises that you can do to alleviate your shoulder pain. I want to give you this caveat: If any of these exercises cause you to have more shoulder pain, they should be avoided.
What types of exercises can help?
One exercise you can do to maintain your range of motion is what we call the "V" lift. Make sure that your arms are crossed, with your thumbs of the opposite hand near your pocket. So if you were standing, your right thumb would be about over your left pocket and same for the other side. The left thumb would be over the right pocket. Then lift your arms up above your head, hands leading the way, so that your palms face each other when you are finished and you're roughly in a position that an NFL referee would make when he was signaling a touchdown.
What medicines can I take for shoulder pain?
There are over-the-counter medications that you can use to help you if you do receive a shoulder injury or any other muscular skeletal injury. The most common are aspirin and NSAIDs. NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, I suggest that you speak to your physician and/or the pharmacist at the drugstore so that they can take into an account any medical problems or any special needs that you may have before you start taking these drugs.
How do physicians treat shoulder pain?
Treatment of shoulder injuries can include injections, surgery, referral to your physical therapist for exercise or conservative care, medications a doctor can prescribe, over-the-counter medications or just simply rest.
How do I know when it's time to see a doctor?
You should see your physician if your pain does not go away or lessen significantly after a few days.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's rehabilitation services or to find a Sharp-affiliated physician who can refer you to a physical therapist, call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about rehabilitation, visit Rehabilitation in Adult Health or read the Rehabilitation News archive.